If you’re a sushi afficianado in our humble Midwestern city, then you know one universal truth:
If you want the most authentic sushi tasting experience available in the Twin Cities, then you have to head to Kado No Mise.
At least, that’s what I’d always heard. But I realized that since their reopening this year and moving to a “chef’s tasting only” menu format, I hadn’t actually put that rumor to the test.
Time to change that!
About Kado No Mise
Kado No Mise first opened in 2017.
At that time, it included both an upstairs and downstairs area – downstairs for those ordering a la carte, and upstairs for the tasting menus.
Over the years, the downstairs area turned into another restaurant entirely, while Kado No Mise moved to upstairs-only, where they’re now only taking “Omakase” reservations.
About the Omakase Tasting at Kado No Mise
Omakase is a traditional style of sushi dining meaning, “I leave it up to you.”
Translation – you surrender all trust to the sushi chef, who then chooses each of your dishes for the night.
Usually, Omakase menus focus almost entirely on “Nigiri” sushi – the type that comes with a thin slice of fresh fish on top of a small rectangle of rice.
(At this point, it’s worth mentioning that if your idea of the perfect sushi includes California rolls, and you’re not up for an adventure, then you’re probably in the wrong spot.)
Omakase at Kado No Mise currently comes in three options:
- $60 per person (5 pieces of nigiri sushi + appetizers and dessert)
- $105 per person (10 pieces of nigiri sushi + appetizers and dessert)
- $145 per person (13 pieces of “deluxe” nigiri sushi, including wagyu beef and appetizers / dessert)
(Note that all these prices include a 21% service charge)
For all the options, you can either reserve a table or the sushi counter.
We booked the $105 option at the counter (for max sushi freshness!) and started counting down the days!
About the Chef
Chef Shigeyuki Furukawa is Kado No Mise’s head chef. He was born in Japan and spent years working with master chefs around Kyoto.
Our Full Review
Enough hype, let’s eat!
I know at first, I was confused by the building itself. That’s because I recognized the address multiple times over, since it’s currently home to FOUR different heavy hitters in the Twin Cities food scene:
- Sanjusan – The newest in local chef Daniel Del Prado’s restaurant empire. (Located on the entire first floor)
- Kado No Mise – The sushi bar that I’m current writing about. (Located on half of the second floor)
- Gori Gori Peku – A high-end Japanese whiskey bar. (Located on the second floor, across from Kado No Mise)
- Kaiseki Furukawa – A special Japanese tasting menu every Tuesday at Kado No Mise.
To get to Kado No Mise, you check in at the Sanjusan host stand, before being led up the back stairs.
I felt like I was being guided into a sort of Japanese speakeasy, which I guess is what you could call the high end Gori Gori Peku located just across the second floor hallway.
Once in the Kado No Mise space, I felt like I was transported around the world.
We took our seats at the sushi bar, where the master sushi chef greets you, eye to eye. There were two chefs and maybe eight seats at the whole bar – it’s an intimate experience.
This is a tasting menu, after all, so the toughest decision we had to make all night was what to drink!
Kado No Mise got the party started on their own though. A warm green tea welcomed us to the table, followed by a super-smooth drinking Vermouth.
All this just got us even more giddy about the lengthy cocktail menu. Naturally, we ordered several, and none of them disappointed
In my mind, the Sotoku (a nice balance of of vodka, cantaloupe, pineapple, and lime) was pretty much cocktail perfection. Plus, how couldn’t I love it when it comes with coolest and most on-brand ice cubes I’ve ever seen!? (Pictured above)
What followed was a blur of course after course, each one more interesting than the last.
I’ll have to apologize in advance; I did my best to grab pictures for you all, but I’ll admit that we don’t have the usual coverage. Hey, it’s a little intimidating to be pulling out a big lens when you’re eye to eye with a sushi master!
For the appetizer rounds, the creativity really shined.
The chef brought an egg and custard soup that quickly thawed me out, followed by a three-piece mixture of Japanese ingredients that I am in no way qualified to explain. But I can try – that mix’s main event was an intimidating pile of what looked to be dried and then marinated anchovies, eyeballs and all. (Probably the least appetizing way possible to explain it, but it was delicious and weird all the same, I promise!)
But my favorite overall appetizer was the ultra-unique daikon/salmon roe mixture pictured above. It looked and ate like a soup, but to my surprise, it was actually a cold dish. Either way, I loved the salty bursts of salmon roe and the way they mixed with the broth-like liquid at the bottom.
10 Piece Nigiri Omakase
Time for the main event!
And my first impressions? If you’ve ever found yourself watching Jiro Dreams of Sushi on Netflix and wanting to live that life this is your spot in Minnesota.
From the chef’s counter, you’re granted a front row seat as the chef masterfully prepares the fish, just inches from your face.
That means within seconds, they literally slice the fish, pack the rice, dab the wasabi (by the way, they’re maybe the only spot that grates their wasabi right there in front of you, fresh) and even go the extra mile to coat your new nigiri masterpiece with the perfect amount of soy sauce.
The chef then hands you your plate (you’re within arm’s reach, remember?), you quickly savor the mind-blowing nigiri (usually while they watch your reaction), then the chef asks for your plate back and gets to work preparing your next beauty.
It’s a rapid fire blur of flavor, unlike anything else in town.
Sure, there’s sushi bars all around the city, but there’s something special about this sort of truly authentic (and intimate) Omakase experience.
My personal favorite was the lean tuna – it was among the most buttery and silky smooth I’ve had anywhere.
But the tasting was also packed with multiple varieties of unique silver fish – each one with subtle differences, yet all without question absolutely fantastic.
The night ended with a warm miso soup that I found absolutely packed with flavor, followed by a subtle green tea and finally, a mint flavored sorbet.
Put simply? If you’re looking for the most authentic Nigiri sushi experience in the Twin Cities, nobody is doing it better than Kado No Mise.
They’ve focused on a specialty, and they’ve absolutely perfected it.
The sushi here is so good that maybe it’s only competitor in town is Billy Sushi. But while Billy is cranking out amazing (but dare I say, American-ized?) sushi creations over rock music, Kado No Mise’s main event focuses on basically three ingredients total, and then executes it with pure mastery to the quiet sounds of light jazz music mixed with the occasional voice of chef’s speaking Japanese to each other.
It’s possibly THE most unique sushi experience in town. If you’re a Twin Cities sushi connoisseur, you have to try it.
P.S. – Don’t miss our other picks for the best sushi in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Valet (paid) or Metered Street Parking (also paid)
Full wait service